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CUTHBURH or CUTHBURGA, Saint (fl. 700), abbess, sister of Ine, king of the West Saxons, married Aldfrith [q. v.], king of the Northumbrians, and probably bore him Osred, his son and successor. With her husband's consent Cuthburh adopted the monastic life. After spending some time in the nunnery of Barking in Essex, then under the government of the abbess Hildelitha, she founded, probably with the co-operation of her sister Cwenburh, the nunnery of Wimborne in Dorsetshire. As Bishop Aldhelm [q. v.], in a letter written in 705, speaks of her as abbess of that house, her foundation must bear an earlier date. She remained abbess of Wimborne until her death. A manuscript in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 436, f. 38) contains what purports to be a dialogue between her and her husband Aldfrith, and her farewell charge to her nuns. Her day is 31 Aug.

[Anglo-Saxon Chron. an. 718; Aldhelmi Opera, ed. Giles, pp. 1, 351; William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum, i. 49 (Eng. Hist. Soc.); Acta SS. Aug. vi. 696–700; Hardy's Descriptive Cat. of MSS. i. 384, gives an account of Lansdowne MS. 436, f. 38, mentioned above; Smith's Dict. of Christian Biog. i. 730; Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 88, 89.]

W. H.